Incoming frosh thrives on variety of experiences
As a high school student, Andy Billings excelled in activities as diverse as tennis, Spanish club and business competitions. As an incoming freshman at USC, he hopes to play dodgeball, make pottery and travel the world in the Global Business Brigades. He plans do to everything except take the narrow path.
“I don’t really want to focus all my energy on one specific field,” Billings said. “I really like to have a lot of breadth in what I involve myself in.”
Although Billings grew up in the San Francisco suburb of Pleasanton, he has made frequent visits to USC these past few years thanks to his older brother Ben, a fellow Trojan who gave him an insider look at the university.
“It was really the only school that offered everything I was looking for: excellent academic reputation, really strong school spirit, and lots of clubs and organizations,” he said.
Like his brother, Billings comes to USC as an accounting major. In high school, he applied his problem-solving skills to hypothetical business scenarios as part of the DECA team, which showed him that creativity and analytical ability are essential to a financial career. Billings hopes to expand on that experience at the USC Marshall School of Business’ international case competition, which is the largest of its kind. He is also considering a double major in international business.
“Especially with modern technology, business is no longer just about one country,” he said. “It has become so global and connected. I believe it’s important for me to educate myself in a wider variety of cultures.”
Billings did exactly that as president of his high school Spanish club. He led the group in establishing its first scholarship and developing a philanthropic relationship with an orphanage in Tulancingo, Mexico.
“That experience pushed me out of my comfort zone because I really had no idea what to do to lead a club,” Billings said. “Once I forced myself to do it, it ended up teaching me a lot about leadership skills.”
Ultimately, Billings aims to work his way up to an executive position at an international company with the same innovative spirit and commitment to discovery that excite him about USC.
“I fit well here at USC and that’ll motivate me to give back to the community and push myself a lot more,” Billings said. “I want to carry that through to my career.”